Mohamed El Kashasy
El Kashashy, Mohamed Sayed Zein (aka Elkashashy)
Born September 1978, Mohamed El Kashashy is an Egyptian businessman, whose glowing CV lays claim to holding “senior” roles at Coke, Proctor & Gamble, Gillette, and McKinsey and the Dubai Government, , before founding Think Food LLC in 2011 (limited access)
El Kashashy’s Think Food LLC appears to have no connection with the international Think Food Group founded by José Andrés in 1993.
Strangely, the most recent websites found about Think Food LLC dates from 2014, at which time it had five restaurants /cafes in the UAE. (Two more here and here) . If Think Food LLC is the foundation and on-going source of his claimed wealth, one might expect to find more recent information.
According to Linkedin, El Kashashy is an alumnus of the American University in Cairo with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and management, with a subsequent Master of Business Administration from the Madrid-based IE Business School. He is therefore unlikely to have started his career before 2000. A Washington Times feature from 2007 supports this timescale, saying he had spent six years based in Dubai working in brand management and marketing before returning to Egypt in 2007 to take a job with an international media company in Cairo (believed to have been Mindshare). This implies he spent an average of two years in each of these management roles –not what would ordinarily be regarded as loyalty, and a record of the type that can raise suspicions among recruitment professionals.
Further investigation by a professional recruiter revealed El Kashashy was a junior marketeer at Coke (possibly at the lower status bottling company) and a routine brand manager at P&G (limited access). These are not senior positions at all. Furthermore, he is not a member of McKinsey’s alumni system, which is very unusual for anyone who has had a senior position there, especially a budding entrepreneur.
It is possible El Kashashy has an interest in financial services. Although the description of him as a Banker, in a Daily Mail article of 22 June 2020 (see quote below) is thought to be an error, a quote in the 29 October 2020 edition of LancsLive was taken from his LinkedIn profile, describing himself as a “Strategic Private Equity Director”, and claiming in the “About” section: “Experience includes working with private equity investors/boards, improving performance and profitability with decisive change management and growth leadership.” This is sufficiently vague that it could have some basis in fact.
The same article also said he was currently a managing partner of Beta-Infra, which appears to be a firm based in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, whose only contact point is Facebook.
Staunch Partners, Charlton Athletic & Burnley FC.
On 22 June 2020, the Daily Mail reported: “Sports lawyer Chris Farnell and Egyptian banker Mohamed El Kashashy played key roles in advising on Elliott’s acquisition after it became apparent that a disgruntled Nimer had little desire to invest any more money into the struggling Championship club.
“Their company Staunch partners has been raising funds to support the club, to pay players and staff wages and assisting with restructuring of both the financial and legal side at Charlton.
“Though reluctant to comment while the latest consortium awaits EFL approval, they have dispelled rumours that season ticket sales have been used to keep the club afloat and say their ‘sole aim is to relaunch Charlton Athletic back to it’s [sic] glory days’.”
Since Elliott’s consortium did not actually own the club, the claim they were “raising funds to support the club, to pay players and staff wages” provokes a number of questions, such as who the funds were raised from, and with what security?
El Kashashy was photographed attending a match at The Valley on 27 June 2020. His involvement in Paul Elliott’s consortium, which intended to take over Charlton Athletic from the then-owners Nimer and Southall, was confirmed on 3 July 2020. Answering a written question from Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust, Elliott replied: “Mohammed is a member of the consortium. He is someone that both Chris Farnell and I have known for some time.”
A connection with Farnell is easily proven by the Companies House entry for Staunch Partners Ltd. From its incorporation on 20 November 2019, it has had two directors, Mohamed Sayed Zein Elkashashy and Christopher William Farnell. The nature of its business is recorded as “Activities of open-ended investment companies”, which could – at a stretch – be the foundation for El Kashashy’s claim to be a “Strategic Private Equity Director”. The company’s first accounts are due to be filed by 20 August 2021.
On 7 August 2020, the EFL tweeted the following statement:
|“At its meeting earlier this week, the EFL Board was asked to consider Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) applications lodged by Charlton Athletic in respect of a number of different individuals. “Following a full and comprehensive appraisal of all the relevant matters the Board determined that three individuals were subject to a Disqualifying Condition and the EFL declined to approve their applications. “Those individuals have 14 days to appeal the decision. The EFL continues to consider applications from other individuals under the OADT.”|
It was rapidly established that the three disqualified individuals were Elliott, Farnell, and Andre Mihail. Farnell and A. Mihail resigned as directors of ESI on 10 Aug and CASTrust reported on 19 Aug, “Lots happening again. It seems Elliott and Farnell are appealing @EFL OADT after all, as current decision blocks them from future involvement at any club #cafc” It seems reasonable to guess El Kashashy was one of the other individuals under consideration, as an acknowledged member of the consortium hoping to buy CAFC. The outcome of these other applications has not become public; neither has the outcome of an EFL Source and Sufficiency of Funds Test for this consortium, if they ever got as far as making an application.
El Kashashy remained in the background until Sandgaard’s purchase of CAFC was announced, but then reappeared at Burnley, where The Athletic reported on 28 October that Farnell and Elkashashy had made a rival £200M bid for Burnley FC. (pay-walled) “The proposed American takeover of Burnley is now in doubt after a rival bid led by Cheshire-based sports lawyer Chris Farnell and Egyptian entrepreneur Mohamed Elkashashy cleared a significant regulatory hurdle, The Athletic has learned.
“ALK Capital has been the frontrunner to buy the Premier League side for several months but talks between the American sports investment firm and Burnley’s main shareholders Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz have stalled.
“It is understood that Garlick, who owns 49.24 per cent of the shares, has also been talking to Farnell and Elkashashy for almost a year but their identities have not been publicly linked with the club until now. This is partly because ALK Capital, which is run by Alan Pace, the former president of Major Soccer League franchise Real Salt Lake, was further advanced in negotiations but also because Farnell has been embroiled in the chaotic takeover saga at Charlton Athletic.”
It therefore appears Staunch Partners was originally set up as a vehicle to buy Burnley FC, and its reported use to raise funds for Charlton Athletic was a stop-gap measure.
According to The Mirror “El Kashashy and Farnell have already provided proof of funds and the final obstacle is to pass the Premier League’s owners and directors test.”
Interesting the report mentions providing proof of funds, but not source of funds – which was allegedly the problem with Nimer’s application to the EFL for Charlton. On 8 November 2020, the Sunday Mirror claimed El Kashasky [sic] is worth £9.65 billion, by coincidence the same as they quoted for Abramovich. Oddly, Forbes doesn’t record this. This is the full list of Egyptian billionaires according to Forbes (28 Jun 2020):
|Global ranking||Name||Citizenship||Net worth (USD)|
|330||Nassef Sawiris||Egypt||5 billion|
|590||Mohamed Mansour||Egypt||3.3 billion|
|680||Naguib Sawiris||Egypt||3 billion|
|945||Yasseen Mansour||Egypt||2.2 billion|
|1135||Youssef Mansour||Egypt||1.9 billion|
|1513||Mohamed Al Fayed||Egypt||1.4 billion|
Perhaps the data the Mirror accessed was in Egyptian pounds? (Egyptian £9.65 billion = US$ 620M = UK£440M)
It still sounds an overestimate in the light of his stated business background.
Although by now Farnell had resolved the issue over his O&D Test with the EFL, he and El Kashashy appeared to have a similar stumbling block with the Premier League.
When it was announced on 22 Dec 2020 that El Kashashy and Farnell had pulled out of the running to complete a takeover of Burnley Football Club, it was reported that they cited a lack of communication from Clarets chairman Mike Garlick, but there seems to have been a more important bar to progress. It was also reported that they claimed to have signed a Sales & Purchase Agreement and provided proof of funds while they were waiting on a result of a fit and proper person’s test from the Premier League. Although they had not failed the test, they also had not been informed they had passed it, two months after their interest in Burnley first became public.